July 20, 2020
Early indications suggest July Stimulus will fail to meet needs of SMEs and self-employed – Louise O’Reilly TD

Louise OR' ReillySinn Féin spokesperson for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Louise O’Reilly has said the early indications are that the government’s July Stimulus package will completely fail to meet the needs of SMEs and the self-employed.

Teachta O’Reilly said: “As we approach the launch of the government’s July Stimulus package, the early indications are that they have not listened to SMEs regarding what the sector needs to get back on its feet and drive towards recovery.

“So far, supports for SMEs have largely equated to further debt through loans. This is precisely what small and medium businesses say they do not want.

“Further debt will not help SMEs and micro-businesses get back to work and drive economic recovery.

“Taoiseach Micheál Martin has spent the last number of days in Brussels warning against pouring further debt on European states, and has instead called for the use of grants to help economies recover from Covid-19.

“It is essential that the government takes the same approach to the July Stimulus and includes a comprehensive grants scheme for SMEs, micro-businesses, and self-employed/sole traders.

“Sinn Féin in our ‘Supporting SMEs and Protecting Jobs’ plan called for grants of €12,000 and €25,000 to be given to affected SMEs and micro-businesses.

“Alongside this grant system, we also outlined the need for a €5,000 grant scheme for self-employed/sole traders who have been adversely affected by Covid-19.

“Such grant schemes have been successfully rolled out all across the EU, and beyond.

“In addition to injecting significant liquidity into SMEs and micro-businesses, the July Stimulus must also reduce non-payroll expenses for businesses.

“A rates wavier and a cut in the VAT rate for the tourism and hospitality sector until the end of the year, with built-in extension review mechanisms, would suppress non-payroll expenses and allow some breathing space for affected SMEs and micro-businesses.

“Sinn Féin believes that the central plank of the economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis must be a real commitment to our micro-businesses, our SME sector, and our family businesses, as well as a steadfast commitment to workers’ rights embedded in legislation, and the creation of decent jobs with decent pay and conditions.

“It is not too late for the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance to follow our European counterparts and deliver an economic stimulus package, specifically targeting micro businesses and SMEs in affected sectors, that is expansive and imaginative and can allow businesses to recover, reinvest, and reemploy.”

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